Youth Sailing Courses
This program provides sail training for the beginner through to advance sailors using the “Learn to Sail” CANSail standards. CANSail is designed to be a set of progressive learn-to-sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. It allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidates key skills and solid experiences before adding complex skills. The sailor is required to demonstrate both sailing theory and on-the-water skills. CANSail levels are achieved at the pace of the individual sailor. This pace will not be the same for every sailor.
All student sailors should be comfortable around and in the water. A swimming test will be conducted on the first day of the first session to determine the sailor’s swimming ability for safety reasons.
The “Learn to Sail” standards under Sail Canada are referred to as CANSail levels.
The six progressive levels of achievement (CANSail 1 – 6) are defined below and you can also refer to the Sail Canada website located here www.sailing.ca for more information.
In all activities, the attitudes and readiness of the young sailor will always be considered in determining responsibility on the water. The activities within each level focus on fun, safety, and building individual skills and confidence.
CANSail 1 & 2 programs are designed for beginners to introduce the basic skills of sailing, including safety, seamanship and boat handling. On land, sailors will learn the basic elements of sail theory; the names for the parts of the boat and how to rig a boat.
On the water sailors will focus on boat safety and boat handling skills and learn to find the wind direction, setting the sail, and steering. CANSail 1 & 2 sailors may use a RS Quest, Opti or Laser based on their progressive demonstration of skill and safety.
CANSail 3 & 4 is a comprehensive course and is designed for intermediate to advanced level sailors, who have completed their CANSail 2. These two levels within the CANSail program focus on introducing sailors to advanced sailing techniques including sail trim, boat tuning, boat maintenance and introduction to racing. Boat handling in higher wind conditions, backwards sailing, and without a rudder are also fundamentals of these courses. A Club 420, RS Feva, Laser or Opti may be used by CANSail 3 & 4 sailors, depending on progressive demonstration of skill and safety.
Please note, CANSail 3 & 4 may require more time to achieve depending on the pace of sailor learning and demonstration. It will take a minimum of four weeks to accomplish the demonstration of the advanced sailing techniques and sailing theory.
In addition, CANSail 3 & 4 sailors may have the opportunity to attend regattas. If sailors are chosen or demonstrate interest with the necessary skill level to attend regattas, it will be necessary for their parents to provide the additional cost and assist with transportation and supervision. Please see more on Regattas further on in this Guide.
Not offered for 2023 Spinnaker & Trapeze This course section targets sailors who are interested in developing further skills in double-handed sailing by focusing on racing with both trapeze and spinnaker. These two levels are often done in conjunction with CANSail 3 & 4, but can require more time to achieve.
Not offered for 2023. CANSail 5 & 6 is an advanced course for the serious sailor and racer who want to compete and advance in the sailing world. CANSail 5 & 6 courses focus on speed control by identifying tide and wind shifts and initiating tactical decisions to defend positioning and accomplishing strategic goals. The CANSail 5 requires the sailor to participate in a 1 – 2-day local regatta while the CANSail 6 requires the sailor to participate in a regional training camp and in a regional or provincial regatta.
All BQYC instructors are certified by the CANSail coaching standards. Their advanced knowledge and sailing ability is supplemented by training in the theoretical and practical aspects of coaching, first aid, swimming and rescue techniques.
Parents are reminded that CANSail levels are achieved by consistent demonstration of sailing theory and on-the-water skills. Achievement of a level depends on the pace of learning of the sailor. Achieving a level within a two-week session is not always a realistic goal.
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